cooking, diet, dieting, Fashion, food, health

In which we make eggplant pizza rounds #diet #paleo

20170117_130225

Once I decided to do this no carbs/no sugar thing I realize that there are a lot of foods that I love with bread or pasta involve. I grew up eating rice with every meal, too. There’s a whole world of other ingredients to fall back on, but it takes a few seconds to realize it. This week I was jonesing for pizza and decided to adapt an established recipe to fulfill my cravings. Eggplant parmigiana? Welcome to pizzaville.

20170117_113230

The first step is to make your sauce. Put together a 9 x 13 inch pan of tomatoes, garlic and herbs like basil and oregano. I did 2 pints of plum tomatoes, a tablespoon of chopped garlic, and a teaspoonful each of oregano and basil. I sprinkled a little salt and some crushed red pepper flakes on top, drizzled the whole thing with a quarter cup of olive oil and slid it into the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Take it out once at the 20 minute mark to stir everything up. Also, line the pan with some foil or parchment paper….easier cleanup.

Once this is done, put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and over medium heat stir in a can of tomato paste. use a 1/3 cup of chicken or vegetable stock to loosen things up. When it’s starting to bubble, ad your roasted tomatoes. Stir together and lower the heat. Let it simmer while you tend to the eggplants (make sure to stir so it won’t burn). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

20161127_162728

Slice an eggplant into 1/2 inch  rounds and lay them out flat for 20 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on them, then rinse them and at down with paper towel. This takes out the bitterness. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a stainless steel pan and start frying the eggplant discs. You want them browned on both sides. Place the fried eggplants back on your lined baking sheet. Turn off the heat under your sauce, which you were also keeping an eye on. Now you’re ready to build your pizzas.

20170117_131018-1

Spread a tablespoon of your rich, thick flavorful sauce n each eggplant round. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle chopped peperoni slices on top of the cheese. if you want to get crazy, go for one more layer of cheese. Who’s going to stop you? Slide the eggplant pizza rounds into the oven for 15 minutes, and then cook them under the broiler for another 2 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes, then dust with garlic powder and oregano. Slice up and devour.

*Alternate method: leave eggplant in the frying pan and layer rounds with sauce and cheese and pepperoni, laying a whole pepperoni slice on top. Let the cheese melt and then serve.

I can tell you for myself, they are delicious. For me, pizza is the cheese and toppins, so this worked perfectly.

 

xoxo, Faith/SEB

Advertisements
beauty, beauty products, blogging, cooking, diet, dieting, diy, Fashion, fashion photo, food, hair, hair products, hair removal, haircare, health, lifestyle, personal style, photo, photo industry, photo shoot, Photography, shopping, skin care, skincare, Style

in which we take stock of where we are and look forward to 2017 #bye2016

I am not one of those people that likes to party on NYE. I think the last time I went out was 12/31/2009, and luckily it turned out to be a party run by a high school friend. What are the odds? So tonight, like most years, I’ll be chilling at home thinking about everything I accomplished and thinking about all the stuff I want to do in the coming year. No resolutions this year, since I noticed that I forget them as soon as I make them and really, who cares? Life takes so many twists and turns that resolutions made in December look really silly come March or April. I’m just going to chip away at things that keep me from being, doing or going towards where I want to be.

I’m really proud to report that much progress has been made in 2016:

Work:

20161121_141625

I made progress as a blogging freelancer by working for Energems, HSI Professional, and Private Rx. In fact, I’ve been writing blog posts for the Private Rx blog for the last 6 months. I’m really proud of that. I got a Fashion Week job that ended up generating cash for me from September to November and it inspired me to update my Behance photography portfolio and start uploading stock images again. I also made money from my Society 6 store! And from depop and other online selling platforms. Not monumental groundbreaking sums, but enough to feel confident and competent.

Diet and health:

This year I started messing with a waist trainer, but it wasn’t until November that I made the necessary changes in my diet to lose weight and keep it off. My friend is big into the paleo thing, and while I was never a calorie counter and have willfully embraced carbs all my life, I thought it might be worth it to give up pasta and bread and start paying attention to my diet.

I made banana walnut bread a week before I decided, so now I have backslide slices ready in the freezer. Unfortunately the last time I ate one my whole metabolism seemed to slow to a crawl and it took a week of saying no to carbs to feel good again. I guess I’ll eat a slice for my birthday or something. I’m still a butter and bacon type of girl, as evidenced by my artichokes with lemon butter plate, and below that I was making German potato soup (it was so good), but I am starting to ease up and just use a dab of olive oil for sauteing and a dribble sesame oil for flavor.  I’m leaning on steaming veggies so that they retain more of their nutritional value as well. Not sure I’ll ever be a raw food person, I love hot soup way too much.

Beauty:

The paleo thing is on track with my other big life changing project: making my own beauty products. It’s been fun getting free samples and testing them out. I love having so much knowledge abut what’s good for my skin and hair. But at the end of the day, I’m not spending thousands of dollars on products. I can’t and won’t afford it. However, I still need lotion, and my skin needs exfoliating so I’ll just make everything at home. I’ve been reading up on different recipes, how herbs work, and aromatherapy and trying different things.

For the last two months I’ve been using my salt and coffee skin scrubs, whipping up body butter and slathering avocado on my hair. I use a green tea and yogurt mask that helps deflate the bags under my eyes, and I wax with a homemade sugar concoction. Today I made a hair pomade out of wax and oils. I have soooo many ideas for 2017! I’ll prob be making a business out of it as well, since baking cookies and stuff proved a little too fattening (I might try again with low carb treats, though).  I’ve already turned my baking cupboard into the beauty pantry.

Style and fashion:

I have made a slow return to shopping. After three years of getting free clothes, shoes, underwear, jewelry, perfume, hair and skincare, light bulbs, bedding, towels, and even toothpaste and flossing picks, I decided it’s time to start living life like a normal person. I’m still cheap, though- don’t get it twisted. And since I already have stuff that I like from brands like LL Bean, Desigual, and Cat Footwear, I’m really just re-calibrating my style and moving back towards things that I like because I like them, not because people are giving away free stuff. I am really into Century 21, especially since there’s a store in Downtown Brooklyn if I want to return or exchange anything. I got this coat and knee high Steve Madden boots, a fab Calvin Klein cocktail dress for work, and this awesome patchwork totebag (I snagged it on final sale at $20, and it’s reversible and comes with a little zippered pouch! Free is cool and I’m grateful for all the stuff I got (not as much as some, but more than enough), but there is nothing like catching a good old fashioned bargain.

Self:

After all is said and done, the best thing that I can do is to keep being myself. I can’t worry about what people think or want too much. It’s funny how, when I started blogging I looked like a little girl and now I’m fairly grown up. I’ve changed a lot,mostly for the better, but I’m aware that I’m kind of an asshole. I’ll never be a nice person, and I’m good with that. It’s just how it is. I don’t live in a nice world, so it wasn’t really something that I could afford to aspire to be. I have learned to live in the right now of things and right now I’m a woman that wants to be rich and self-sufficient. I’m a woman who wants to be presentable and comfortably dressed. I’m a woman who likes pretty things, but won’t go crazy chasing them. I’m a woman, plain and simple.

That should be good enough for people, and too bad if it isn’t.

Happy New Year!

xoxo, Faith/SEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

beauty, beauty products, exercise, exercise gear, Fashion, health, sexy, skin care, skincare, weight, weight loss, weightloss

In which we talk about waist trainers and Ishga Active Cleansing Lotion #beauty #weightloss

New York has been engulfed in a grody heatwave for weeks and during that time life was nothing but a panting, sweaty mess. I made it out to the beach again, but by and large the fun gadabout summer that I had been planning was curtailed. I spent a lot of time just hanging out in the house with the air conditioner on full blast. People can bleat about climate change all they want, it’s not just what we’ve done to the atmosphere, it’s what the Earth does every so often…self-destruct.

Anyway, before people start thinking this is going to be a diatribe about the environment, it’s just another blog post about my ongoing struggle to be the best woman I can be. It’s just that this time, that involves a waist cincher.

After spending weeks binge watching TV and not really moving around, I went to my yearly checkup and the worst had happened. 20 pounds of the worst. Body acceptance is great until it’s your body that needs accepting. I felt like the time had come to ask for a lifeline. Enter, the Waist Trainer Cincher (control underbust shaper corset shapewear body tummy sport) which I bought on Ebay for $14 plus shipping. It came within days, as they promised, in a snazzy silver envelope. I had it on five minutes after I got back in my apartment. It was instant love.

You wrap the belt around your waist, closing it with the huge velcro tabs. The you pull the elastic outer straps around and your locked into curvaceous. It didn’t hurt, but you are compressed. I’m guessing that the compression helps you lose weight because you can’t stuff your face while you’re wearing it, and once you put it on you don’t want to take it off. The waist trainer holds in the fat that’s holding you down, and reinforces your spine so you stand up straighter. It’s flexible enough to move around in, but you always know it’s there. It feels amazing. I loved having such a tiny waist, even temporarily.

The worst part was that you don’t know it, but you are going to sweat under it, even if you’re not working out. I exacerbated that by going outside in it in super hot weather and it started chafing my skin. I countered that by massaging Vitamin E Oil into my sides, and taking a day off. I can’t wait to put it back on, though. After a week I am eating less and better, and feel more motivated to exercise. I don’t do hours of work or anything, I’m just doing 20 minutes with my hand weights and stretching and sit-ups. When I go back to my waist trainer, I’ll be following the 7 Day Waist Training Beginner’s Guide and Checklist to make sure I get the best results out of this.

20160824_124255Sometimes it takes me awhile to get to a product because other things come up, and also I may be overloaded on the item. In this case, I finally had room in the cabinet for a facial cleanser and exhumed a product that’s been waiting since the holidays. i was testing some glycolic peels and vitamin c serums, but they do not agree with my skin. I went rooting through my supplies and pulled out the amazing Ishga Active Cleansing Lotion. It’s organic skincare infused with seaweed from the Hebrides. Seaweed, especially from the clean, cold waters of the Hebrides in Scotland, has those precious anti-oxidants and anti-ageing properties that we covet in the beauty game.

20160824_151010You pump some of the soft pink cream into your hand and them massage it onto your skin, You don’t need water, I just have the faucet running for effect. Just rub this into your skin in upward strokes, believe me between the smell and the fragrance you’ll end up having to force yourself to stop. A minute should be good. Then use some cotton balls to wipe it off. It takes off the grime and leaves your skin obscenely soft. To make sure I waited a few days and then used it just before sitting down to write this post. It’s an instant moisturizer.  So luxe. The price is 30 GBP, and at the moment that’s $39.73 USD, so that’s a bargain.

 

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

Fashion, health, skincare

New: in which we talk about Private Rx; skincare for ‘down there’ #beauty

20160606_164015

So the great thing about blogger events is meeting new brands and trying different things. Some things are so new that you have to stop and take a minute to digest the fact that at a recent event, someone rolled out skincare for the vagina.

20160606_164047Private Rx addresses the area that we shave, wax and tend to during menstruation, but shy away from thinking of as beautiful. We take care of it, show it to doctors, push babies out of it…some people even buy hair dye for it. This is the first time that I came up against an actual moisturizer for my vagina and it made me question if I’d been living my life right.

These are ampoules full of the internal vaginal moisturizer. Insert like a tampon and squeeze. The formula is supposed to moisten the area for 3 days, soothing the itchy dryness that can result from perimenopause and menopause. It doesn’t have estrogen or hormones, it’s fragrance free and it won’t leak out and stain your clothes. You get 8 ampoules per box, so they last for a 24 day cycle. A box of Internal Vaginal Moisturizer retails for $19.99.

20160606_164105

Of course where there’s a vagina, there’s lube! This one looks like liquid in the package, but is somewhat like a silky gel when it comes out. It doesn’t heat up or come in flavors, it’s just a simple enhancement for your own bodily moisture. It’s a silicone/water base, so it’s not greasy or anything. The Personal Vaginal Lubricant is also $19.99.

Men like it, too. Just throwing that in there.

Waxing and shaving can take a toll on your labia and vulva, so Private Rx came up with a way to treat that. Soft beaded Cooling Pads soaked in a soothing anti-inflammatory solution (containing aloe, witch hazel and glycerine among other things) gently exfoliate dry or dead skins cells. In conjunction with the Soothing Serum, these products were developed to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Since we’re in bikini season right now, you might want to try these out. You can buy the Cooling Pads and Soothing Serum separately, or save by buying the Soothing Bikini Care Package for $25.99.

The creator of Private Rx, Dr. Ronald Blatt, has used his knowledge as a gynecologist to develop the collection. The core of the formulas is the Femsome Skincare Complex, which is a patent pending combination of  botanical extracts, vitamins, and hydrating ingredients created to keep internal and external skin in the vaginal area moist and supple. His reasoning for creating the products? He says that he was ‘sensitive to the overall need for women’s long-term care of their intimate skin area…’.

With a product like the External Vaginal Moisturizer, he’s addressing the extreme vaginal dryness that sneaks up on women after menopause, a time of life that we all know is coming. At some point there may be itching and stinging around the vaginal opening, as well as burning and pain during sex. Because facial moisturizers are not formulated for that area, you may not get the relief you need. Now,  you can keep Private Rx in the back of your mind as a remedy.

 

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

 

beauty, beauty products, beauty tools, blogger event, celebrity hair stylist, Fashion, fragrance, hair, hair products, hair styling tips, hair stylist, hair tools, health, nail polish, nails

Event: In Which We Go To Beautypress’ #SpotlightDay Part 1

I got invited to this a month ago and have been fidgeting with anticipation for the last four weeks. Beautypress is the resource that beauty editors use to find the next lifesaving product for beauty fans everywhere. They had a super lineup of brands to present and I was so there for all of it!

My first stop was the complimentary mani table. Primp and Polish set up  a light filled insta-spa on location with sick uv dryers that set the gel manicures in seconds. I got a light blue polish with polka dot pattern. I am going to admit right now that I only let them do one nail, because I have no patience at all. I really like doing my own nails (now that i know how) so it’s hard to let anyone else do them. It was cute, though. And I  got a sample of  Dazzle Dry nail & cuticle oil, which I’ve been using all week. My cuticles are gorgeous.

After grabbing a hibiscus cocktail, I went to check out the Eaudeluxe.com perfume bottle display. Gorgeous vintage bottles, some made by Baccarat and Lalique.

It was like a little glass oasis.

After that I headed over to meet Private Rx. This was a real eye opener, so It’s good that I had a little r & r in the pretty perfume land.

Most beauty brands address the areas of concern on your face, but Private Rx is way more concerned with what’s between your legs. Developed by gynecologist and surgeon Dr. Ronald D. Blatt, Private RX is a collection of intimate skin care that addresses a woman’s most private area. The brand’s Cooling Pads and Soothing Serum are for post waxing and shaving, and help to  prevent ingrown hairs. I need these.

On a deeper level, there’s an Internal Vaginal Moisturizer that can provide menopausal women with 3 days of vaginal moisture. And because age is nothing but a number in 2016, there’s a Personal Vaginal Lubricant, for those deep meaningful encounters. I’m kind of fascinated, because of all the things I’ve received, vaginal moisturizer has never been in my goodie bag.

So loving Beautypress right now.

I got to spend some quality time with the Curl Keeper team (I actually featured them in my Winter Haircare Roundup) face to face, which is always nice. When you meet people at events like Spotlight Day, you really get to see how excited they are about their products. Founder Jonathan Torch was nothing is not extremely knowledgeable about curls, curl texture, cutting curls, moisturizing curls, and using products like Curl Keeper’s Styling Cream (which contains enriching lecithin) to create beautiful styles with curly hair.

He is literally obsessed with your curly hair and put a lot of work into creating a collection to address every need. Torch even came up with  Beach Mist to help coily lasses achieve the boho/beachy look that has long been promoted for straighter haired peeps. And, my fave, an award winning H2O Water Bottle that acts as a mister, so when you’re styling you can just add a little water to re-activate and rehydrate your twirly hair. Genius.

I have about 5 more brands to talk about, but it’s gorgeous out and I have to get ready to play kickball. Part 2 coming soon!

 

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

 

 

 

biking, exercise, food, health, new york

in which we go to Queens, get lost, and then spend an hour riding with Bike NY

I was actually going to save this post, since I just told you about going biking, but I figured- what the hell! Let’s just do it!

bny2

The other two outings were Learning To Ride ( Adults) and Bicycling Basics– this was the payoff.

bny3

First off, I’ve never been out this far in Queens and I bitched up the directions and got lost. I had to ask a policeman or crossing guard or something. He had a uniform, so I asked him. After a lot of headscratching, we finally figured out where I was going and I set off.

The upside is that I know how to get to a Mets game now, so that’s something.  bny4

When I got there, everyone was still practicing. Lucky! The got me a bike and I joined the class- only an hour late.  bny5

part of the reason that I was late was because I couldn’t sleep. This is the face of a woman who had no sleep. I was still so keyed up from Summer Streets and the Slide the City that I stayed up all night. That helmet isn’t just protecting my brain; it’s holding it in place. When I got ready to leave I was so flustered that I just threw the Clif Bar & Perky Jerky and Vitacoco from Summer streets in my knapsack with the DOT helmet and ran out the door.

Outfit? Oldass sweatshirt and my usual LL Bean jeans. I could not get it together at all. I’m lucky I was clean. bny6

After everyone finished practicing riding around curves, scanning and signalling, Douglas (our volunteer instructor) took ous out into Corona Park proper to ride. We stopped a few times, but I only remembered to take my cameraphone out once. I was too busy relishing the fact that I was riding. I was also trying to keep up with Douglass. I was in the top four riders in the class every time we stopped to rest and the top four fastest riders in the class were all women.  bny7

I made it back to our starting point first- remembering to signal a right turn as I slid into the last curve. I made sure to set my Samsung GearFit this time. I only forgot during one stretch, so I think we actually covered more ground? I just had my GearFit on pause because we were waiting for people to catch up and I forgot to restart it for awhile. But 4.32 miles to someone who couldn’t ride at all at the beginning of the summer is nothing to sneeze at.  bny8

As I trudged back to the train station, I remembered the mall I had seen on the way to the park. I had eaten all my samples and I was still hungry. I figured there must be something to eat in there, and it turned out that what I wanted was visible as soon as I walked through the door. I needed ice cream in my life.

I couldn’t even decide what to get, I was so hot and sweaty that I wanted to just stick my face in a tub of anything and gorge. I settled on a shake. A birthday cake and lemon shake to be exact.

bny9

I would literally be willing to get up and take the train all the way out to Queens to go to Sky View Mall  just to have another shake like this. Hershey’s I ce Cream, I love you.

bny91

Now I was happy and whatnot. I bopped along drinking my shake and loving life and noticed that I could see the globe from the World’s Fair- so now I know where that is, but that’s another adventure entirely.

Next up: How to get an IDNYC card and why you should get that before 12/31

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

unnamed

activities, architecture, exercise, food, free, health, new york, plants, rides, street fair, Summer, walking

The Meetup Adventure: in which we go to #SummerStreets2015 and ride Slide the City

So, I got tired of going to museums and started a meetup group of my own:

ss1With the idea that if you don’t see what you want, then start it yourself. My first proposition to my group was a trip to Summer Streets 2015, a NYC street fair that stretches from 72nd Street all the way to the waterfront Downtown.

I got one RSVP- and they didn’t show up.

ss2Granted? it was kind of early. But you only see New York at it’s best when it’s early, lol!! No one around to bother you and you can actually see how the place is laid out.

ss3How awesome is this? Early morning in Central Park, no screaming hordes- just light and stillness.

ss4And ducks.

ss1a

I kind of took my time walking through the park and over to Park Avenue. The good thing about no one showing was that I could go at my own pace and make my own decisions.

ss5

I was dressed for a special occasion, too. But you’ll see what that was later in the post. Basic was better that day, believe me.

ss6

Back to Summer Streets. There was supposed to be free one hour bike rental at 58th Street, but I found out that you had to bring the bike right back to 58th, and my plan was to make it all the way to downtown.

I set off on foot amidst walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. One amazing this was getting to walk over a bridge that only cars have access to. It takes you up over 42nd and Grand Central Station.

ss7

This is a view I have never seen. Normally, I’d be standing far below looking up at cars whizzing by on this bridge. Thanks to Summer Streets, I was seeing this sculpture closeup without worrying about getting plowed down by a taxicab.

ss8

The next rest stop was all about food. Whole Foods had set up a block long street fair with people just hurling samples at you every few feet. How much do you love Perky Jerky guy? You could literally walk up and pluck samples off of his body. I feared for his life at one point- I mean, he was wearing MEAT.

ss9

I also got a sweet little potted plant, a pansy. New York Botanical Garden was on hand, patiently putting tiny plants in biodegradable containers for anyone who asked to take home. That’s love.

After getting as many food samples as I could I headed over to the 2nd of my missions (since that bike rental thing was a bust):ss91

My second mission was to obtain a free bike helmet from New York’s Department of Transportation. It wouldn’t be easy. It took stamina. It took being polite to this lady who acted all friendly just so I’d hold her place in line. It took ONE HOUR AND SIXTEEN MINUTES of waiting in line, and I technically missed the time for my special event, and then the lady who fitted my helmet was a _itch- but I did not give up, nor did I leave empty handed…ss92Cuz that’s how we roll at SEB. never give up, and never leave without your promised goodies.

Now it was time for my third and last mission…ss96

SLIDE THE CITY

ss93I cheated and took the train from 23rd down to Chambers Street. I was on pins and needles the whole way, hoping that my tickets were still usable.

ss94 While I was at VitaCoco Beach, I met Ben Franklin, who just happened to be chilling and looking for a place to fly his kite, and then (of course) grabbed up a free VitaCoco lemonade and a free VitaCoco inner tube. As you can see, they hydrated New York City with VitaCoco.ss95

I managed to find the Slide the City line, then find out where the line actually started, then found out where to register to even get on the line. As luck would have it, they weren’t looking at what time the ticket was for, just if you had one. Having gone to many fashion week events I knew to have my ticket up on my phone screen ready for viewing.

Behold…

ss97

is this not EVERYTHING???? Ok, yeah- some people live for Chanel, but this? was EVERYTHING!!!!!

And I had tickets. It only took me two hours. I heard it took other people 12 hours. At this point, it didn’t matter- I was there, in front of it and I had the golden ticket. ss98

I almost cried when I saw this sign- I had a knapsack on! I forgot to read the faq’s!! Luckily, A lady with a kid let me hold her bag and then when they were done she held mine. You have no idea how much of a leap of faith it is to let some stranger hold your bag in New York. But if that was the only thing standing between me and and a 650 foot water slide? Oh well.

I took a chance.

ss99

I told you, basic was best. After I finally got into the enclosure, they gave me an inner tube to ride on and sent me up the stairs. I could feel excitement in the pit of my stomach getting bigger and bigger the closer I got to the top. I got the middle lane.

Once you get up there, they tell you how to position yourself, and you sit staring at the huge expanse of plastic that’s supposed to hold you up, and in my case staring at the venerable court buildings of Foley Square which had probably never witnessed a massive water slide in front of them. Once they say go, you push off and it’s sublime. Exhilarating. And, yeah- two horribly overused words- life affirming.

I slid down a big ass ramp in New York and lived. It was the best moment ever.

20150815_140641

 Also the moment I unpacked my knapsack and I had all this swag. Not bad.